Aon Hewitt Welcomes DWP’s “Reinvigorating Workplace Pensions“


WEBWIRE – Thursday, November 22, 2012

LONDON, – Aon Hewitt, the human resource solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), has welcomed today’s publication of “Reinvigorating Workplace Pensions” by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Kevin Wesbroom, partner at Aon Hewitt said:

"The zeal that Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, is bringing to this issue is to be commended. We urge all parties involved in the pensions industry to commit to resolving the long-term challenge of getting people to save for a decent retirement, and helping employers to deliver better outcomes from their contributions to pensions saving.”

A recent survey carried out among over 1,000 participants at Aon Hewitt’s pension conferences revealed widespread support for some of the ideas outlined by Steve Webb and the DWP. This includes Defined Ambition (DA) schemes which offer different mechanisms for sharing the risks of long term pension planning and investment.

However, the conference delegates also expressed concerns that a lack of joined-up thinking and action by government could undermine the Minister’s aims.

Kevin Wesbroom continued:

“The biggest issue flagged by delegates at the Aon Hewitt conferences this year was the threat to pension scheme taxation. Ahead of the Autumn Statement, there are again rumours that the £50,000 annual allowance will be cut to £40,000 or even to £30,000. This would go beyond a taxation of the pensions elite - the pensions equivalent of a mansion tax - and would start to erode the savings of middle managers and long serving public sector workers such as senior nurses and teachers.”

The conference delegates also flagged up that impending European legislation, which would force companies to divert assets from the real economy into additional pension fund contributions, is a major concern for the industry.

Kevin Wesbroom concluded:

"We are delighted that Steve Webb is alert to this issue, and seems determined to ensure that well-intentioned, but fundamentally mis-guided European action does not precipitate the further decline of the UK pensions system.

"The pensions industry continues to demonstrate a passionate commitment to the concept of long-term savings, while recognising the very real challenges of encouraging, cajoling or forcing employees to make provision for their futures. This is a unique opportunity for the industry to work with the government to reinvigorate a savings culture in the UK and we urge all involved to contribute to shaping the future of the industry.”

Notes to Editors
About Aon Hewitt
Aon Hewitt is the global leader in human resource solutions. The company partners with organisations to solve their most complex benefits, talent and related financial challenges, and improve business performance. Aon Hewitt designs, implements, communicates and administers a wide range of human capital, retirement, investment management, health care, compensation and talent management strategies. With more than 29,000 professionals in 90 countries, Aon Hewitt makes the world a better place to work for clients and their employees. For more information on Aon Hewitt, please visit www.aonhewitt.com.

About Aon
Aon plc (NYSE: AON) is the leading global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resources solutions and outsourcing services. Through its more than 61,000 colleagues worldwide, Aon unites to empower results for clients in over 120 countries via innovative and effective risk and people solutions and through industry-leading global resources and technical expertise. Aon has been named repeatedly as the world’s best broker, best insurance intermediary, reinsurance intermediary, captives manager and best employee benefits consulting firm by multiple industry sources. Visit www.aon.com for more information on Aon and www.aon.com/manchesterunited to learn about Aon’s global partnership and shirt sponsorship with Manchester United.

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